Partners of LIFE EXTRUCLEAN project held a technical meeting at ENPLAST facilities on 28th October 2015


LIFE EXTRUCLEAN’s project objective is to eliminate toxicity of plastic waste coming from plastic packages that have contained hazardous substances, like solvents or phytosanitary products, using carbon dioxide (sc-CO2) in supercritical conditions in the extrusion process. The use of sc-CO2 is an alternative to traditional decontaminating processes that consume big amounts of water and other cleaning agents to eliminate toxicity.

 In the first half of the project, EXTRUCLEAN’s technology has been implemented at pilot plant scale, optimizing the decontamination process of polyethylene (PE) jerricans samples contaminated in a controlled way with a representative range of the different main contaminants found on plastic waste coming from this sort of packages. Results show up to 80% reduction of contaminants presence.

On the second half of the project work will focus on comparing the effectiveness of the new decontamination technology with traditional decontamination processes, and it is scheduled to implement this technology at industrial scale. This will allow to define a new recycling technique for plastic waste coming from packages that have contained hazardous substances, based on a clean technology with less environmental impact than the traditional processes.

It is expected that the new recycled material would have higher quality properties because EXTRUCLEAN technology is less aggressive than the one currently used. This will allow to use it in higher added value applications like producing new packages for containing hazardous substances, meeting the requirements of its transport, closing its life cycle.

LIFE EXTRUCLEAN (LIFE13 ENV/ES/000067) is a European project supported by the European Union and funded with the contribution of the Life financial instrument of the European Union. It is coordinated by AIMPLAS and participate AIDIMA’s technological center, ARVET-Transform Exporters Association and leading companies in the recycling and production of packages ACTECO and ENPLAST respectively.